Vladimir Putin made a bold statement in his State of the State address. Russia has bulletproof nukes and will use them if attacked.
Russians don't make empty threats. They are conservative and understated, as they have been, in their encouragement to the US to honor the ABM treaty that George Bush abandoned.
What are the implications of this for the Korean Peninsula? North Korea borders Russia.
This is clearly intended to announce the end of the concept of a "unipolar world" where one nation could dictate to all others. Mutual Assured Destruction is completely back on line.
The implications of this are broad. First it marks an absolute reset in global assumptions of order. I may be stretching to insist that the end of $US hegemony has just taken a jump forward, but in the next financial crisis, a continuation of the 2008 crisis, new options will be explored. They are already in place, after all. New efficiencies of production, trade and distribution will have to focus on meeting actual human needs, not artificially stimulated consumer markets, and they will have to do so with the absolute minimum of parasitic skim. "Parasitic skim" is about the same as "financialization". Retirement plans are one of the weaker subsets of financialization.
Populism, in the form of expropriation of productive assets, is having a resurgent wave across the world, as are resource-grab wars among nations, like the Mediterranean gas fields. Killing the goose there may assure that nobody gets a golden egg. Old habits die hard. Everybody fights the last war, and so on.
There will be no complete victories. That is the message today.